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THE    CHINESE    CHARACTER               43
already married. They have wives and families to think about, their parents to remember, and perhaps some cousins to help through school. Responsibility makes men sober, and a national cultural tradition helps them to think sanely about life at a period earlier than they could arrive at individually, But their mellowness does not come from books; it comes from a society which is apt to laugh young enthusiasm out of court. The Chinese have a certain contempt for young enthusiasm and for new brooms that will sweep this universe clean. By laughing at that enthusiasm and at the belief that everything is possible in the world, Chinese society early teaches the young to hold their tongues while their elders are speaking. Very soon the Chinese youth learns this, and instead of being foolish enough to support any proposed scheme or socialistic venture, he learns to comment unfavourably upon it, pointing out all the possible difficulties, and in that way gets his pass into mature society. Then, after coming back from Europe or America, he begins to manufacture tooth-paste and calls it "saving the country by industrialization" or he translates some American free verse and calls it "introduction of the Western culture." And since, he has usually a big family to support and some cousins for whom to secure positions, he cannot remain a school teacher if he is in the teaching profession, but must think of ways and means to rise higher, perhaps become a dean, and in that way become a good member of his family. That process of trying to rise higher teaches him some memorable lessons of life and human nature, and if he escapes all that experience and remains a round-eyed, innocent hot-headed young man at thirty, still enthusiastic for progress and reform, he is either an inspired idiot or a confounded genius. 
Let us take the three worst and most striking characteristics, patience, indifference and old roguery, and see how they arose. 1 believe that these are effects" of culture and environment and hence are not necessarily a part of the Chinese